DURHAM, N.C. – Duke women’s lacrosse junior Michelle Staggers was named a semifinalist for the 2018 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award, the publication Diverse: Issues in Higher Education recently announced.
With over 1,000 student-athletes nominated around the country, the Stafford, Va., native was one of 40 female and male semifinalists.
Haley Clark of the Georgia women’s basketball team and Blaise Taylor of the Arkansas State football team were honored as the 2018 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Female and Male Scholar-Athletes of the Year this week.
The Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award honors undergraduate students who have excelled in the classroom as well as on the athletic field. Inspired by tennis legend Arthur Ashe, Jr., recipients demonstrate a commitment to community service and student leadership in addition to their athletic ability and academic performance.
Staggers has received ACC Academic Honor Roll recognition in each of her first two years as a Blue Devil, while majoring in cultural anthropology with a minor in theater studies and a certificate in documentary studies. She participated in the Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program, a collaborative service initiative between Duke and Stanford. As a member of the inaugural ACE class, Staggers traveled to India over the summer of 2016 to assist in teaching and coaching youth, with a focus on educational and leadership development through sports, English lessons and computer classes.
Last summer, Staggers served as an intern filmmaker for the Rwamagana Lutheran School in Rwanda as part of the DukeEngage program. While there, she produced short documentary films on the Rwanda School Project and girls’ education.
On the field, Staggers has been a three-year starter for the Blue Devils on defense. She owns 20 ground balls, 18 caused turnovers and 11 draw controls in 38 career contests. In addition, she has helped coordinate community outreach projects for the team and served as an ACTION mentor, counseling first-year student-athletes.
On campus, Staggers has also been active as a Women’s Center Training Facilitator and a member of the Duke University Athletes in Action bible study group.
Staggers and the 18th-ranked Blue Devils travel to No. 21 Notre Dame Sunday for a 1 p.m. matchup on ACC Network Extra.